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'05 Summer Nationals Kick Off at Crown Point Speedway
Jeffrey A. Bayless
 
  Crown Point, IN (June 24)  The 2005 version of the UMP Summer Nationals presented by DIRT Motorsports got under way at Crown Point Speedway in Crown Point, IN with a very healthy contingent of 49 competitors signed in to try their hand at the $10,000 top prize with several of the competitors also thinking big picture and the $30,000 top prize for who ever can come out on top in the grueling 29 races in 30 days trek across the Midwest.  Moweaqua, IL native, The Moweaqua Missile, Shannon Babb, got a head start on the competition by bagging the first 40 lap event of the campaign in his Rayburn Chassis with Jay Dickens power sponsored by J&J Steel, Car City, G&C Enterprises, Platinum Motors, Watters Autoland, and Petroff Towing.
 
     The UMP Summer National format starts with a 9 car 9 lap dash comprised of the top 6 qualifiers starting in random order 1 through 6 and an UMP National points provisional, track provisional, and Summer National provisional making up the spots 7 through 9.  The top 6 finishers start in the first 6 positions in the feature the way they finish the dash.  On this evening, Ryan Dauber utilized his pole position in the dash to win the pole for the feature as Jimmy Mars held off the fast qualifier Shannon Babb for the runner up spot.  Billy Moyer, Rodney Melvin, and John Gill also found their way to the feature through the dash.  In the first heat Randy Korte stormed to the early lead and held off several determined challenges from Dennis Erb to earn the victory with the track point leader, Brett Seivert, beating Ted Loomis for the 3rd and final transfer spot to the feature.  Kevin Weaver embarrassed the field in the second heat, winning by a straight-away with Jeep VanWormer coming from his 5th starting spot to grab the runner-up position.  Duane Chamberlain transferred through the heat as well as Guy Volk finished one spot out of the feature.  Wes Steidinger won the third heat coming home ahead of 7th starting Mark Voight, 9th starting Joe McGrath, and John Mason.  Brian Shirley beat Darren Miller to the stripe in the 4th and final heat with Billy Drake and Jason Feger coming home behind them.  Two concis would transfer 1 each to the feature and the first one would see some high attrition as pole sitter Ted Loomis spun exiting turn 2 on the initial start collecting up over half the field and taking out 4 of the top 5 starters.  When it was all said and done Eddie Leviner would transfer to the feature over Ken Widdes and John Mason who came from the rear after being involved in the first lap pile-up.  In the second conic, Jason Feger barely held off local racer, Randy Woodling, to earn the final transfer spot with young gun Frank Heckenast Jr. coming home third.     Terry English would earn the sole Summer National provisional to complete the 21 car field.
 
     Babb would join the front row tandem of Dauber and Mars to make it a three car battle for the lead into the first set of turns with Mars taking the point by a nose at the stripe over Babb as Dauber began to fade back into the pack.  The first quarter of the race would see Babb trying to wrestle the lead away from Mars as Mars would use the momentum of the high side to edge ahead by his nose piece at the stripe.  But as the lead battle began to approach traffic, Babb took the point on the 11th circuit and held off several counter attacks from Mars before beginning to put real estate between himself and the pack as Mars began slipping backwards.  At the half way point Babb was enjoying a comfortable lead with Melvin,  hard charging Korte, Mars, Weaver, and Moyer all entangled in a free for all behind him.  However, Melvin's good run came to an end one lap later as he spun to a stop in turn 3 brining out the races first caution.  Anticipation began to mount in the stands with the caution erasing Babb's sizeable lead and putting Korte on his tail.  Korte who had been coming forward at a rapid clip was now staged to test the where-with-all of Babb as he would restart on his bumper and have a shot at the leader.  But Moyer used the restart to catapult forward as he stormed up into contention for the runner-up spot at the drop of the green flag, only to see the restart negated when Korte's masterful run would end when he found himself entertaining the turn three wall after getting into the marbles at the top of the track heading into the turn.  The next restart went much better as Weaver pounced on Mars to take the runner-up position and to start an assault on the leader as Dauber, Moyer, and Mars went three wide to attempt to settle the dispute for third.  Weaver using the extreme low groove would pull ahead of Babb through the turns for several laps but could not complete the pass as Babb and the momentum of the high side would maintain the lead.  As the race roared into the final stretch, Babb had worked himself back into a solid lead as Weaver and Dauber were in  heated exchange for the bride's maid position.  As the race roared to a close Babb would win his 21st Summer National event with Weaver holding of Dauber for second.  Miller, Steidinger, Erb, Mars, Shirley, Moyer, and VanWormer would round out the top 10. 
 
     DIRT Motorsports' UMP Summer Nationals heads to Kamp Motor Speedway, a 3/8ths mile high banked speedplant outside of Boswell, IN for another $10,000 to win event in night two of the month long series.
 
NOTES
     Terry English blew the motor in his ride during the dash and had to step into fellow Kentuckian's Jordan Bland's machine to utilize the provisional he was eligible for.  He made 2 laps and pulled off.
 
     6th starting John Gill had a motor going south so he gave up his 3rd row starting spot and opted to go to the back  for the start.  He coasted around for 1 lap and then retired for the evening.
 
     Joe McGrath, a veteran of modified racing in the Wisconsin area, stepped into his brother-in-laws' machine to compete in the first round of the Summer Nationals.  The 74 car of Russ Scheffler was the car driven by McGrath on this evening.  This had to be considered a successful night for McGrath who transferred to the feature from his heat in the first time ever he had driven a late model. 
 
RESULTS
UMP LATE MODELS
49 Cars
Fast Time:  18 Shannon Babb 12.77
 
Dash (9 laps top 6 to A Main)
1. 64 Ryan Dauber (1)
2. 28 Jimmy Mars (3)
3. 18 Shannon Babb (4)
4. 21 Billy Moyer (6)
5. 27 Rodney Melvin (2)
6. 75 John Gill (5)
7. 28 Dennis Erb Jr. (9)
8. V77 Guy Volk (8)
9. 96 Terry English (7) DNF
 
Heat 1 (10 laps 3 transfer)
1. 00 Randy Korte (2)
2. 28 Dennis Erb Jr. (1)
3. 5 Brett Seivert (3)
4. 23 Ted Loomis (6)
5. 56 Rohn Moon (4)
6. 99 Frank Heckenast Sr. (5)
7. 37 Ken Widdes (9)
8. 53 Mike Anderson (10)
9. D7 Jim Letizia (11)
10. D1 Turk Letizia (8) DNF
11. 51J Jason Beier (7)
 
Heat 2
1. B12 Kevin Weaver (2)
2. 55 Jeep VanWormer (5)
3. 1 Duane Chamberlain (4)
4. V77 Guy Volk (1)
5. 10 S George Sheffler (3)
6. 3W Randy Woodling (6)
7. 18W Mark Weisnicht (7)
8. 55 Jim Loomis Jr. (9)
9. 87 Mike DuVall (10) -1 lap
10. 5 Jason Widdes (8)
11. 13. Terry Starks (11)
 
Heat 3
1. 1S Wes Steidinger (2)
2. 30 Mark Voight (7)
3. 74 Joe McGrath (9)
4. 72 John Mason (3)
5. 25 Kyle Roderick (8)
6. 21 Eddie Leviner (5)
7. 17 Jerry Wald (10)
8. 88 Ken Snyder (11)
9. 23 Patrick Sheltra (4) DNF
10. 96 Terry English (1) DNS
11. 26 Dan Sturgeon (6)
 
Heat 4
1. 3S Brian Shirley (1)
2. 32D Darrin Miller (2)
3. 9 Billy Drake (3)
4. 25 Jason Feger (4)
5. 99JR Frank Heckenast Jr. (7)
6. 19 Garret Slager (5)
7. 92 Dick Potts (10)
8. 91 Bill Workman (9)
9. 12 Jordan Bland (8)
10. P1 Tim Prince (7) DNF
 
Conci 1 (12 laps Winner transfer)
1. 21 Leviner (6)
2. 37 Widdes (7)
3. 72 Mason (2)
4. D1 Letizia (13)
5. D7 Letizia (11)
6. 53 Anderson (9)
7. 17 Wald (8)
8. 88 Snyder (10)
9. 23 Loomis (1) DNF
10. 56 Moon (3)
11. 25 Roderick (4)
12. 99 Heckenast (5)
13. 23 Sheltra (12)
 
Conci 2
1. 25 Feger (2)
2. 3W Woodling (5)
3. 99Jr Heckenast (4)
4. V77 Volk (1)
5. P1 Prince (13)
6. 10S Sheffler (3)
7. 18W Weisnicht (7)
8. 87 DuVall (8)
9. 55 Loomis (14)
10. 19 Slager (6)
11. 5 Widdes (10)
12. 91 Workman (9)
13. 13 Starks (12)
14. 12 Bland (11) DNF
 
Feature (40 laps $10,000 to win)
1. 18 Babb (3)
2. B12 Weaver (8)
3. 64 Dauber (1)
4. 32D Miller (14)
5. 1S Steidinger (9)
6. 28 Erb (11)
7. 28 Mars (2)
8. 3S Shirley (10)
9. 21 Moyer (4)
10. 55 VanWormer (12) -1 lap
11. 74 McGrath (17) -2 laps
12. 5 Seivert (15) DNF
13. 1 Chamberlain (16)
14. 25 Feger (20)
15. 00 Korte (7)
16. 27 Melvin (5)
17. 30 Voight (13)
18. 9 Drake (18)
19. 21 Leviner (19)
20. 12 English (21) drove Jordan Bland's car to utilize provisional
21. 75 Gill (6)
Lap Leaders:
1-10:  28 Mars
11-40:  18 Babb
Cautions:  2
 
Unofficial Point Standings After 1 Event
1. Shannon Babb 66
2. Kevin Weaver 57
3. Ryan Dauber 54
4. Darren Miller 46
5. Wes Steidinger 44
6t. Dennis Erb 38
6t. Jimmy Mars 38
8. Brian Shirley 33
9. Billy Moyer 28
10. Jeep Van Wormer 26
11t. Randy Korte 22
11t. Eddie Leviner 22
13. Mark Voigt 21
14t. Joe McGragh 20
14t. Bret Sievert 20
14t. Duane Chamberlain 20
14t. Billy Drake 20
18t. Jason Feger 18
18t. Rodney Melvin 18
18t. Terry English 18
18t. John Gill 18
 
   
   
   
   
   
   

   UMP SUMMER NATIONALS

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